Saturday, July 30, 2011

This week...30th July, 2011 library cleared out its biography section...

Little Boozle 2011

...the baby of the family started kindy,
without a tear nor a backward glance.
Mummy managed the "no tears" bit
but she will be looking back a lot, remembering those little babes that have grown way too quickly.

...I wondered, as I pulled out a few more grey hairs,
if I would have to stop soon or be increasingly bald instead of increasingly grey.

(And I also wondered, for the umpteenth time,
why men get sexier with their greying hair,
and perhaps even with baldness,
whereas women generally just look older)

...I decided that I love it when a plan comes together.

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

...I got bad mail (bills. Boo) and good mail
( some stunning yarn and thanks to Yvonne for the pattern)

Little Boozle 2011

...I bought a pdf book to help with my photography.
I have had a digital SLR for 6 years
and it is time that I learnt how to use it properly.

...I decided that I am lucky that I can do activities in the car without throwing up
(unlike my 8 year old who apparently can't)

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011
(all on Rav here) soul mate has been around for more than half my life.
(and given that he doesn't seem to mind my grey hairs,
I am hoping that he will be around for a few more to come)

Cold snap

Tassie trip July 2011

In what I promise will be my last holiday post.

Tassie trip July 2011

Part of the reason for freezing our little tooshies off on this holiday
was that there was one requirement: show our kids snow.

Tassie trip July 2011

In my procrastination, I did too little homework before leaving for our holiday
and merrily booked into Cradle Mountain
thinking there would be snow.

And there was.

Tassie trip July 2011

But more by accident-of-Mother-Nature
than by good management or organisation.

There was unprecedented snowfall in the area.

Tassie trip July 2011

So we lucked it in (but looked like absolute legendary parents in the process)
My parents had reported how cold it was
and how many thermal singlets we'd need to pack.
Many roads -including one that we usually travelled on to their home-
were closing here and there due to snowy conditions.
Fishing was halted.
Storms were causing blackouts.

Tassie trip July 2011

We had to change our travel plans due to road closures
and spent an hour driving a snowy road very slowly,
finding out later that the road was closed soon after.

The kids loved it.
(while I was quietly shitting myself, thinking that 30-40kph was way too fast to be driving on a snowy highway)

Tassie trip July 2011

We spent 2 days in the snow.
Doing all the things that you do in the snow...
Making snow angels;
making snowmen, snowballs, snow dogs, snow birds, snow anything really;
walking in the snow;
clambering in snowdrifts till gumboots filled up with snow
and 6 year old feet went numb,
trudging through snow storms backwards with our eyes closed.

And loving every single minute.

These are the tourist promotional snaps of Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain, that I am used to seeing.

This was our view...

Tassie trip July 2011

After the snowing stopped later on,
we did catch a glimpse of the mountain for a second or two.

Tassie trip July 2011

Two days later,
the car even started and we got out miraculously without a tow.

Tassie trip July 2011

Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National park is part of a World Heritage area.
We are looking forward to going back,
perhaps when it looks like the tourist snaps,
once the kids are a bit older,
so that we can do some decent bushwalks and other activities on offer.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shocker of the Week.


Toddler beauty pageants come to Australia.

You too can pop your little baby girl into a beauty pageant once she turns 6 months of age.


It is so, so wrong.

Don't get me started.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My happy space- 27th July, 2011

Little Boozle 2011

The days are getting longer and hint at warmer times approaching.
The sunny days are more frequent as the last of the winter leaves
are pushed aside by the green of Spring.
In our backyard, there is evidence of new life on its way.

It is making me smile today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When city kids go bush

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This morning we discovered that one of the small bushes in our backyard
has become home to an oh-so-small-and-delicate bird's nest.

That is right up there excitement-wise with our resident, spider
and the occasional blue tongue who visits
(albeit it at his or own own risk given our resident Staffy)

(As a side note, our spider disappeared one night just before we left on holiday.
I think she "did a Charlotte",
leaving behind an egg sac that is valiently trying to hatch before the brown and shrunken leaves that are protecting it give in to the demands of the winter fall.
I was glad to leave for holidays as our resident 6 year old humanitarian
was grieving)

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I grew up being able to wander a few blocks away from my house,
seeing sheep, cows and horses on those grassy paddocks dotted through the country town.
It was a couple of minutes walk to the best tadpoling place,
especially after the winter rains.

Now that we are a nuclear family of city dwellers,
owners of 2.4 pets,
I am somewhat saddened by the huge novelty that sheep and cows are to our kids
when we venture beyond the boundaries of the city.
Heck, we get excited when we see a caterpillar or a snail on the way to school.

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Tassie trip July 2011
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Our holiday this time round offered a plethora of opportunities to see wildlife and more unusual critters.
(More than happy to see those blue rings through glass and not from under my foot)
We even saw Highland Cows (I guess that the Tassie climate suits those Scottish cow genes.
I have loved these guys since visiting Scotland but didn't realise there were some on this side of the world)

Tassie trip July 2011

It may be an urban myth that kangaroos hop down Australian streets
but I can say that wallabies or pademelons may well walk along the top of the beach with you.

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A wombat was happy to eat its way through a photo shoot
while cars drove past and kids stood a metre away oggling.

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Well, actually to be honest, it was the first stop since reaching the snow
so after 30 seconds oggling, the kids' interest turned to making snowballs.

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In general, the winter wildlife were very friendly
(OK I am sure that they were scavenging for food...or "finger food"...
but let me be an idealist)

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Our kids are not yet old enough to really appreciate the natural beauty on display
but give something feathers and fur or gills and that is a different case.

Tassie trip July 2011

Even the local fibreglass cows were friendly towards tourists,
though I sense that they were gritting their teeth as yet another dag had to pretend to milk them.

Tassie trip July 2011
Tassie trip July 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Heading south for the winter.

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Some of you, if Australian or living in Australia,
would know or would guess,
that my nickname Tas is due to my Tasmanian origins.

Tassie trip July 2011

I was born in a small town in northern Tasmania
and grew up with no inkling of the ridicule and scorn that the Apple Isle attracted
from the rest of the country.

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Perhaps the first time I recognised that my little state
was a little maligned was when we got left "off the map"
at the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games.

(Yes, we are still bitter about that one)

Tassie trip July 2011

When I spent a year overseas as an exchange student in 1987,
I was more likely to be thought to be from Tanzania.
(which is in Africa, in case you didn't know)

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I relocated to Melbourne for university
where, being left handed, Catholic and Tasmanian,
earned me a door note that the Guiness Book of Records was filming.

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Tassie trip July 2011

At my insistance that I was Tasmanian
came the equally insistant (but of course completely wrong) assertion by the mainland students
that I was Taswegian.

Also came every joke ever written about multiple headed, in-bred convicts.
Don't even try.
I have heard them all.

Tassie trip July 2011

Hence I became Taswege.
Then Tas.
Cos we Aussies shorten anything if we can.

(One bright spark even ventured as far as tagging me "Map Of".
Say no more)

Tassie trip July 2011

I haven't actually lived in Tasmania since 1986 now
and nowadays I tend to say that I grew up there
rather than I am Tasmanian.

It would be a bit like me saying that I am still on maternity leave
when I started over 8 years ago
and have a youngest child of 4 years of age.
(Which I do say.
Which my hubby rolls his eyes at)

Or that I am Catholic when I last took Holy Communion nearly 30 years ago.

Tassie trip July 2011
We go back once a year to visit my relatives
but I haven't been there as a tourist since I was a child.

Tassie trip July 2011

Seriously, people, at the risk of sounding like a tourist brochure,
you need to go there and be a tourist.

Tassie trip July 2011

It is stunning, gorgeous and stunning again.

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And it is so compact.
(Northern most tip to southern is 364 kilometres;
west to east 306 kilometres)

Tassie trip July 2011
I think that it is one of the places in the world that offers up
some of the best examples of Mother Nature's work.

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OK so it might be a tad cold at times.
Our family prefers to go in colder months as you only have to pack winter clothes.
If you go in summer, you still have to pack winter clothes as well as summer ones.

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We are going to play tourists for a few years now as we go back to visit family.
This trip we took our kids to places that I haven't been to since I was their age.
Hands up if you knew that Queenstown still has a gravel football oval?

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One day I will search my family tree.

I have always wondered if we came to Tasmania on the upper level of the boat with some social standing
or the lower level as criminals.
I will. keep you posted on my social standing.

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